Australians Missing Out On Tax Time Super Windfall

Many Australians could be missing out on a superannuation windfall because they are not making the most of their retirement funds at the end of this financial year.

Superannuation expert Adam Kirk from Australian Ethical says there are four simple steps Australians can take to change this, “Tax time is a great time of the year to consider your retirement savings and how to boost your money,”

“Four simple changes you can make now can have a huge difference to your super balance in the long run,” added Kirk.

One tip is to salary sacrifice which can not only increase your super but decrease your tax, “This is one strategy when it comes to tax time and super that all Australians should take advantage of, and it is as simple as asking your employer to contribute a part of your salary into your super”.

Australian women in particular are being encouraged to take advantage of their super this tax time, “Women on average have less super than men,” commented Kirk

“Through salary sacrificing or spousal contributions women can make sure they keep topping up their super where possible,”

“Low-income earners also need not miss out putting more money into their super, as the government will pay a bonus to those that contribute with after-tax money,” added Kirk.

Tax time may also be a good opportunity for Australians to look more closely at their super and where their money is being invested.

A recent report[1] into Australian consumers’ attitudes towards super has found that three out of five Australians said it is important that their investments align with their personal values, however it also revealed most people who consider themselves to be ethical do not know, or are not sure, if their money is ethically invested[2].

“While you’re looking at how to make the most of your super at tax time, why not also look more closely to see where your money is being invested?” asked Kirk

“You may find that your investments aren’t aligning with your values, such as being coal-free or tobacco-free,”

“If this is the case, then tax time is the perfect time to switch to a super fund that aligns with and supports your values,” added Kirk.

TOP FOUR TAX TIME SUPERANNUATION TIPS:

1. Co-Contributions: If you will earn less than $31,920 this financial year and meet work, income and age tests you could potentially benefit from a $500 government paid bonus to your super in the form of a co-contribution.

All you have to do is make an after-tax contribution to your super fund before June 30 to receive a government contribution of 50 cents for every dollar, up to a maximum government contribution amount of $500.

Those earning between $31,920 and $46,920 can still benefit but the “bonus” received will reduce for every dollar earned over $31,920.

In addition to the co-contribution benefit if you earn less than $37,000 the government will make a low-income superannuation contribution into your account of up to $500.

2. Salary Sacrifice: Reduce your taxable income and boost your retirement savings by asking your employer to salary sacrifice some of your pre-tax salary to your superannuation account.

Super contributions are taxed at 15%[3] instead of up to 46.5% (including the Medicare levy) so you could potentially save yourself up to 31.5% tax.

3. Spouse contributions: If your spouse earns less than $10,800 you could receive a tax rebate of up to $540 by contributing $3,000 of after-tax money to their superannuation account on their behalf.

This tax offset reduces as your spouse’s income exceeds $10,800 and cuts off completely when their income reaches $13,800 or more.

4. Watch your limits: The Government has placed a limit of $25,000 in pre-tax (employer or salary sacrificed) contributions and $150,000 in post-tax contributions that you can make into superannuation before they impose additional taxes.

For more information go to australianethical.com.au or call 1300 134 337.

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All media enquiries contact Claire Maloney, PR Director, The Bravery 0431279785 or claire@thebraveryishere.com

ABOUT AUSTRALIAN ETHICAL: Australian Ethical is a fund manager with a difference. They only offer 100% ethical superannuation and managed funds. Established in 1986, they now have more than 18,000 investors that have chosen to invest their life savings ethically with them. To learn more go toaustralianethical.com.au

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: Adam Kirk, General Manager – Business Development, Australian Ethical.

Adam has over 20 years of experience in superannuation, funds management and insurance industry. Adam is an expert in consumer superannuation funds and can provide commentary and analysis on superannuation topics. Adam previously worked for Australian Catholic Super where he led the business development, marketing and advice teams. Prior to this his career included time with Colonial First State and Skandia where he was responsible for marketing two of the most popular superannuation master trust platforms in the market.

[1] 1,000 representative sample survey conducted by Pure Profile commissioned by Australian Ethical

[2] When you think of your super or other investments/savings, do you think it is important that this money is aligned with your personal values? Yes | 62.50%. Do you consider yourself to be an ethical person? Yes | 87.90%. As you consider yourself to be an ethical person, do you know if your money / super is ethically invested? Yes | 28.21%.

[3] 30% for people earning over $300,000 subject to final legislation

 

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